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Wii Sports Review

Is your first ever Wii game a strike or a gutter ball?

So launch day (or Christmas day, or a Sagittarian birthday) comes, you frantically wrestle the Wii out of its box and set the thing up. Then you spend five minutes or so in awe of how perfect the controller feels, how small the console is and so on. Then you rummage about in the box and find Wii Sports lying there, staring back at you and psychically imploring "play me, ONM reader". But the big question is this: is Wii Sports a genuinely enthralling game with a healthy lifespan, or will you spend an hour playing it and never bother picking it up again?

The first of the five games you'll probably play (due to a combination of the hype that's surrounded it and the fact it's the top game on the list on the menu screen) is Tennis, one of the easier games to get to grips with. Up to four players can play in any combination of doubles matches (either one-game, three-game or five-game matches), and if there aren't enough people to make up the numbers then either the Wii will control the extra players or someone can control multiple players.

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In fact, you can control all four players on your own if you fancy seeing how long you can keep a rally going. (This is easier than it sounds as you only need to concentrate on swinging the Remote because the Wii automatically moves your players around the court to put them into position.)

The graphics are pleasantly tidy and every time you hit the ball you hear a satisfying 'clunk' emanating from your Wii Remote's speaker, making you feel like you've wandered onto Centre Court at Wimbledon.

The second game on the list is Baseball, which is no longer simply the home run contest that we've been playing for the past few months. It takes place over three innings and you take turns batting then pitching. Both work as you'd expect, with pitching a case of simply making a throwing movement and holding a button to determine the sort of throw you'll make (hold A to throw a screwball, B to throw a curveball and B and A together to throw a splitter; not holding a button will throw a fastball).

As for batting - well, if you can't guess how that works then you probably need someone to remind you how to breathe every now and then. Whenever the batter makes contact, the outfielders on the other team scamper about and try to catch the ball. If they catch it quickly you're out; if it takes them a while you'll get a single and your player will run forward a base; if it takes them longer you'll get a double; and obviously putting it out of the park will get you a home run. It's simple and addictive and anyone can master it quickly.

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Then we have Bowling, which is equally enjoyable. Using the D-pad to line up your player and the direction they'll be aiming in, you simply hold the B button, make an underarm throwing motion and release the B button at the right time to send the ball hurtling down the lane.

Bowled Over

As with other games in this compilation, although Bowling seems simple enough it's actually got a fair bit of depth to it, and it's possible to spend hours experimenting with different throwing and spin techniques (releasing B earlier will cause more spin, as will turning the Remote as you throw).

Bowling's also potentially one of the longer games in the package, because four people playing a 10-frame game involves 52 throws, even if you assume everyone gets a strike every time. Which they won't.

When it comes to Golf, what was originally a basic demo letting you practise driving and putting has become a proper nine-hole course with three difficulty levels (basically, the harder you choose the windier it gets). When driving we found it slightly tricky to gauge how hard we were hitting the ball, but thankfully the option to take practice shots has been retained, meaning you can sort your power out and then try to copy that when you take your proper swing.

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11 comments so far...
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  1. george best Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 18:39

    i actually find golf the hardest game (i can still win every time but anyway...)

    i think that tennis is the best i have reached the 3000 mark now and i can't see how it gets harder

  2. TwilightPrincess Friday 1st Feb 2008 at 18:42

    Same, I agree. Golf is the hardest with baseball probably coming in second.

    I was expecting boxing to be a bit harder but there we go... :D

  3. SpinachPuffs Monday 18th Feb 2008 at 00:49

    Golf is certainly the most technical, but I find baseball much harder.

    Boxing doesnt count because its pretty random!

  4. SNESinator Thursday 21st Feb 2008 at 08:40

    You can't justify giving this 90% over a year after it was originally released - Wii Sports lost all appeal in the first week of playing and the only people who still enjoy it are the super-casual players. Get it out of your Top 50 in the mag.

  5. mcleism01 Tuesday 27th May 2008 at 20:15

    I think golf is the easiest game, but I agree with
    SNESinator about it not warranting a 90% rating.

  6. Gaming 98 Sunday 1st Jun 2008 at 22:12

    Wii Sports was good for the first few weeks, but as it got more and more harder it got more boring.

  7. 94paulm Monday 28th Jul 2008 at 09:21

    I would beat everyone who challenged me to a game of wii sports tennis 8) :D

  8. Super_Sonic96 Saturday 15th Nov 2008 at 10:58

    Last year at school on the last day of the year our science teacher admitted that she like games and she was on a course implementing video games into lessons,she used us to see if it worked (that's what she said, we know she was showing her good side) so we got to play Wii fit and Wii sports ALL lesson! It was the best lesson ever and with wii sports we had a class comp to see who was the best a Wii sports tennis, who won? Me, obviously 8)

  9. Okami Saturday 15th Aug 2009 at 10:43

    Wii Sports is boring once you've had about a good hour's worth of game-play of each different sport. It's fun while it lasts, but after that, you start to use it only when you're desperate and really bored.
    It's much better if you're on multi-player - particularly with tennis.

    Bowling is really unpredictable. I either get a strike, a gutter ball, or end up throwing it behind me (it's hilarious when it goes behind you).
    I haven't actually tried Boxing, it doesn't appeal to me. ><
    Golf is okay, when you get the hang of it.
    Baseball is very, very boring.
    Tennis is probably one of my favourites out of the lot - especially when I'm playing with three other people. It's fun dashing around to hit the ball (me and my friends know the Mii's move for you, but it's still fun running around, anyway XD).

    I'd say this game deserves 75% to 65%. =P

  10. Rabbid_girl Wednesday 7th Oct 2009 at 18:42

    90%? 90%?!? This game deserves atleast 92% but I think we are forgetting how great this simple yet challenging game is, since wii sports resort came out. This is a classic, but I love it to bits. I love playing the wii fit challenge and doing the training, and my favourite game is boxing so I can release my inner anger. This should be in the top 20 wii games no doubt,as it is a great game in the making.

  11. Nintendo Boy Tuesday 27th Oct 2009 at 15:39

    Seeing as this game is free with the Wii to demonstrate it's capabilities, you can't really mark it down for not being long enough. Think of it as a demo/ taster.

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